To Our Community-
It is with heavy hearts filled with deep sadness and anger that we address you all now. It has became public knowledge that someone we know, who we each have had varying levels of relationship with and cared for, who was also a long time and frequent customer of the cafe, has admitted to molesting a child.
We, the worker-owners of the Red & Black Cafe, recognize it as our responsibility to maintain a safer space, which, to us, means a physical place, (and social “space”) where those that occupy it may feel free of coercion and oppression, and feel empowered to speak up and take action when that isn’t the case. As a safer space, we strive to be particularly welcoming to women, children, trans people, non-binary folks, and others from communities that frequently find themselves marginalized and oppressed. We consider it our responsibility to ourselves, our customers, and our larger community to be vigilant and transparent in our maintenance of this space, and we feel this public statement is an extension of that duty.
We have decided that it is safest and the most caring action we can take for our community to not allow this person who molested a child, Tomás Bernal-Dorval, into the cafe until a time when those who his actions have most impacted as well as the broader community determine that he has fully taken responsibility for his actions and done the intensive, hard work of making sure that he is safe to be around.
**This is a link to a statement written by Tomás, outlining his abusive behavior: http://tny.cz/c95c24a7 TRIGGER WARNING: sexual assault (of a minor)***
At this point, it is crucial to point out that Tomás himself never released this statement to the general public and now no longer stands beside this initial statement (which is linked above). Instead, he drafted a second version, which, in our collective opinion, takes far less accountability and re-directs/shifts responsibility away from him (this can be found here: http://tny.cz/adfa1fbe). The second statement has even less of a focus on his actions, and nearly 3-4 times the amount of writing regarding his perceived social persecution by friends and comrades. This statement has also not been made public by Tomás, and to our best knowledge, will likely not be made so. Instead, it was released on the internal message board of the Industrial Workers of the World, the Red and Black’s union, which is how we became aware of this information.
It is important to mention that neither the Red and Black, nor any of its workers, have any role in calling out Tomás, nor are we aiming to create a process of holding accountable for his actions. In all actuality, to our knowledge, there is no formal process in place with aims to hold Tomás accountable for his actions, which would mean that (in lieu of one), he would be excluded from our space indefinitely. Our responsibility to maintaining this safer space is paramount, and until credible steps of accountability are taken by Tomás for his actions, there is no other option.
Additionally, besides our commitment to our safer space, we as cafe workers have had varying experiences with sexual violence in our own lives. Moreso, we also have experienced the pain of the effects of institutions protecting abusers and blaming, shaming, and silencing survivors. We refuse to perpetuate that aspect of our patriarchal culture, and stand beside this decision accordingly.
Please understand that this decision is not one that we take lightly, and it is a decision that impacts each of us and, to a less important degree, our business, in many ways. We are generally open to communicating with folks about our decision, although please ask individual workers if it is OK to speak to that worker at that specific time about this issue. We appreciate your understanding and respect of the collective members’ individual boundaries surrounding this issue.
We’ve made this decision with love and care for our community and ourselves in our hearts. We work towards a world without sexual violence, first by challenging the silencing of survivors and the apathy towards accountability. We care about all of you and appreciate all of the ways that each of you take care of each other and yourselves.
In Hope & Solidarity,
The Red & Black Cafe Collective
So y’all. You may or may not know that we’ve been hurting, in a money way, pretty much all summer. What you almost certainly do not know is that, if we don’t raise $5 G’s on or before August 14th, we will lose our building. Yep, you read it here first. So, please, dig deep and help us out. (***UPDATE*** after ‘Read More’!) Also, we will be closed indefinitely until we raise this money. At this point, it is better for the collective to use our time and energy to actively reach out for donations. We will open for any events and shows we already have scheduled. Please spread the word and look out for regular updates and info. What’s the best way to do that? Hover your pointer over the ‘Liked’ button under our name, then select ‘Get notifications.’ Red & Black Cafe http://www.gofundme.com/redandblackcafe UPDATE: Folks we’ve made about $4,000 toward our ultimatum amount of $5k! That’s incredible! If this keeps up we’ll hit our equally necessary $30k goal ASAP. But that means that we still need your help! Anything helps– especially including just sharing this. However, if you’d like to make a larger donation, please consider giving us a call at 503-231-3899. We can do it right over the phone, no problem, as well as answer any questions you may have. We also get to keep more of it… Thanks, so so much! , R&B ORIGINAL STATEMENT FROM APRIL: We’re excited to announce our new fundraising campaign, ***DEBTLESS, to handle outstanding debts incurred in purchasing the building 3 years ago! Please take a sec to check the gofundme page, consider donating, and share the page to your friends! We can’t do this without your support, help us to stay open another 14 years! www.gofundme.com/redandblackcafe fundraising statement: “Just because I can’t change everything, doesn’t mean I can’t change anything.” -1905 We, the workers at the Red and Black Cafe, are seeking the assistance of our friends, larger community, and allied organizations. As you probably already know, we are the only worker-coop restaurant in Portland, and one of the longest running worker-owned co-op restaurants in the United States. We’re one of Portland’s few remaining all-ages venues. We are a welcoming, warm & dry space for Portland’s ever growing houseless community. We’ve been going strong for almost 14 years years, but right now we need your help. We’re reaching out our community first, because we sincerely believe that a community thrives best when it supports itself. Three years ago we reached out to our community to get help for the downpayment for our building, and the response was amazing! This went a long way toward ensuring that the Red & Black Cafe sticks around for the long run. While this did vastly improve our situation, we’re not out of the woods yet. Your donation is needed: not only to help the Red & Black cafe directly but, by extension, lots of other stuff. Stuff like: the nearby houseless community, who we welcome in our space & work with on neighborhood self-determination issues; the vegan/animal rights and other food-justice communities in Portland through our menu & sourcing; the social justice community by offering no/low cost space for meetings and events; the all-ages music scene in Portland, by maintaining a venue inclusive of folks at any age (with a strictly enforced safer space policy); the co-op community, by demonstrating a democratic workplace which is easily accessible; feminists; copwatch activists; and more. While a donation, either once or each month, is the best way to help us, you can even help if you’re strapped for cash! Here’s how: – Take a second to share this page! – Make a testimonial video, post, etc. explaining why the cafe is important to you!* – Take a gander at our wishlist of skills and goods that we need! In our pursuit of ***Flawlessness, we have 3 tiers of goals we’re trying to reach: ”Billz, Billz, Billz” – If we can reach the 12,500 mark, we would offset the days at the beginning this month we had to close for restructuring, maintenance and menu redesign. Our bills would be current, our inventory would be completely stocked, and we’d be slightly ahead on our mortgage. ”Crazy in Debt” – Tier 2 is the $30,000 mark. If we can hit this mark we can be ahead on our outstanding debts; many of which are individual lenders in the community, who could invest in other projects if repaid for their loans to the cafe. “Run the World (Workers)” – Beyond these goals, your donations help sustain our continued progress, support all the groups/efforts/projects that rely on us, allow us to expand our collective by adding new members into equitable and empowering collective positions (at a time when many in our community are looking for work and projects to plug into), and energize us to undertake the millions of amazing schemes/ideas/dreams we wish to enact in our (less-fucked) future! an arrow from Portland, speeding towards a heart from everywhere, the Red and Black Café <A3 *if you make a testimonial, supportive post, funny meme, whatever, tag us! Send it to us! We love all of youuu.